How to Earn a Bicycle. [ca. 1897 bicycle-themed labor prospectus]
“No one should be without a Wheel for the want of means”
During the bicycle craze of the 1890s, a solicitation for canvassing agents to earn “a Wheel of all Wheels” by selling Grapeine brand cream of tartar baking powder prepared by The Peoples’ Tea, Spice and Baking Powder Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Women and men were invited to sell 96 pounds of Grapeine baking powder (each pound coming with a free water or lemonade set—a pitcher and three glasses). From those proceeds, the agent would receive a 28-inch “Dr. Thomas Health Special” bicycle worth $65.00: “The PRIDE that would cause the desire for a Wheel will incite the energy and industry necessary to earn a Bicycle in a SINGLE DAY’S time.”
Additional labor schemes were available to sell smaller quantities of the baking powder, though for lesser premiums such as a juvenile bicycle, a sewing machine, a guitar, etc. Illustrations include the “Dr. Thomas Health Special” bicycle and a depiction of a woman bicyclist holding up a large can of Grapeine Baking Powder.
Description: How to Earn a Bicycle. [ca. 1897 bicycle-themed labor prospectus]
[Cincinnati: The Peoples’ Tea, Spice and Baking Powder Co., ca. 1897]. pp. Brochure. 8¾ x 4¾ inches. Illustrations; overprinted in red. Folds and creases; short tears at some folds; good.